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2017 MLB Draft Prep And The Opening Weekend

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College baseball’s season got under way over the last few days.

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

As Al would attest, the weather out west was a bit wet on Saturday. As such, many college series over the weekend were a bit likely to be delayed, postponed, or cancelled. A few started early, on Thursday. After getting in a nice nap on Saturday afternoon (listening to a college game of little consequence), I wanted a game to listen to that night. You have no idea.

I settled on the Oregon game against Fresno State. It was in the third inning, and Oregon was already down 5-0. It’s not usually ideal to have a game that’s a bit one-sided to follow. However, it was a game in progress, so I started streaming.

I had no idea about the Fresno pitcher (Ricky Tyler Thomas), and not much more about the Ducks starter (David Peterson). Oregon is a reasonable default for west-coast baseball. They live-stream their games, and have had some decent talent the last few years. (Oregon State is similarly fan-friendly.)

In the back end of Thomas’ third, he was working quickly. If you know anything about my preferences, that’s a box atop my checklist. Hitters were stepping out to get him to slow down. Box checked.

For the next three full innings, I started a man-crush on Thomas. Low-90’s velocity. Changes speeds. Throws strikes. In the fourth inning, he started striking people out. Curves. Change-ups. Even covered first base on a innocent looking grounder to first that turned rather interesting.

45 minutes later, my Twitter was littered with RTT commentary.

Peterson is a solid pitching option, as well. However, some of the hits against him were cheap-ish. Though, I wasn’t listening, then. Peterson throws harder. Thomas is a bit craftier.

***

When I note that I’m interested in a player, and I’m prone to it in February through early April, I like to toss around “round values.” To say I’m interested in a player is rather pointless. Without some perspective.

The draft goes 40 rounds.

To say a player is intriguing is of rather little use. Thomas would seem to make sense in the second or third round. He has International experience. He’s a 6-1 lefty. He has a starter’s repertoire. Or, he could be a fun reliever if rushed. (Not my preference.)

Last season, Thomas threw 104 innings. He fanned 108. He walked 16 in 15 starts. There’s a possibility he might make sense at pick 30 in June. Yeah, I’m interested.

Much more regularly on my Twitter (@tim815) and at thezygote50.com.

***

How did your team do this weekend?

The Arizona State Sun Devils hosted Northwestern in a twinbill on Friday. After winning the opener 3-1, they pushed across a pair in the ninth to win the nightcap 4-3. I’m impressed how well the Wildcats did. Not a baseball power, they didn’t get torched. They went 0-3, but were in all the games.

The Sun Devils Friday night guy is Eli Lingos. He tossed six scoreless on Friday, fanning six. A 6-0 lefty himself, he’s probably a teenth-round candidate for now.

Andrew Snow (3B) and Lyle Lin (C-1B) look to be the top bats early. It’s a bit early to project them accurately yet.

The Wildcats represented, though nobody excelled enough to make my list.

***

When doing your homework every week, focus mostly on Friday’s game. Or, whenever the series opener was. Minding results against the top pitcher for the opposition seems the best test.

This week, who is your “Friday Guy?”

Did anyone excel this week for your squad?

Did anyone on their side light you up?

***

From across the spectrum, Missouri zip coded Eastern Michigan. Through five innings of their Saturday game, they went 5 0 3 6 8 (ironically, Des Moines), leading to a 27-9 victory.

Vanderbilt Friday starter Kyle Wright was a bit rocky on Thursday. The projected top ten choice come June went five, with four hits and three walks. Too early for concern, but the slippage possibility always exists.

Jake Burger (Missouri State 3B) did what he does. He homered, and walked a few times, as well.

Michael Gigliotti (Lipsomb CF) is off to a slow-ish start with the bat, but has been drawing walks. He’s a defensive star in CF, even without a particularly strong arm.

By the way, my initial mock draft efforts have entirely sputtered. I have volunteers on Twitter to run the Braves, Reds, and White Sox. If you’re on Twitter, and want to run a team for the 1-36 portion, let me know below.

We’ll figure out something as far as how to accomplish it, but the results will be run through Bleed Cubbie Blue.

Either way, the tagline as always.

Think for yourself. Ask questions. Be nice to others.